is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Allie Darden Talks About Her Next Role in "Elvis Has Left the Building"

Studio Players, Kentucky's chestnut of all community theatre treasures, has once again showed its crowd-pleasing style in the staging of their next production! 

Hint:  it involves Elvis. Yep, that's right -- it's called Elvis Has Left the Building, it's directed by AGL's artistic head honcho, Eric Seale, BCTC professor and theatre/film guru Tim X Davis is in the cast (hmmm... paging the Colonel ... ), and so are a few other local artistic jelly donuts -- and last but oh so not least, so is everyone's favorite blonde (besides me :), Allie Darden!  If Allie is on stage, the audience is engaged.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  

So ... need I say more?  No, but I will. lol  Step right up and get your tickets.  It's opening this week, and you can be there for the price of a little tender loving care. 

Her favorite Elvis song?
A Little Less Conversation

As an unabashed ukulele player, I have learned if there is one song I can play and sing that an audience will give a hunka hunka burnin love to, it's an Elvis tune.  Any Elvis tune will do, mind you.  My first audience, the happy residents of Sayre Christian Village were all for any song I would play that was ever recorded or otherwise sung by The King.  The Beatles they didn't like so much. Elvis Costello?  Never heard of him. They loved A-Tisket-a-Tasket, but truthfully, if I had played Elvis songs for my entire hour every Sunday last August, they would have been tickled to their toes.  

Elvis lives, folks, and any time you can see Elvis, hear Elvis, or anyone who looks like Elvis, well, ya just gotta go see what it's all about.  So I wanted to find out, and I asked Allie to give me the skinny on her role in the show .  As a writer's dream, Allie updated me with her usual positive outlook and cheerful willingness to cooperate with the likes of a lazy blogger like me.  [NOTE: for more of my blogs on Allie Darden click here: ]

Paula Schrecker, Kimmy, Kathy Jones, 
Greg Jones, Allie Darden & Bob Singleton

Accordingly, you should be warned:  this blogpost is purely for fun, there are no F-bombs to drop, no conflict of emotions or any sort of hand wringing on my part.  So expect no apologies, for none need be offered for simply chatting with a great talent and finding out what's up.  Talking to Allie is like having a nice sip of sweet tea after a long day in the hot sun.  Nothing could be nicer...

As all will long remember, Allie's last role was as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, but in her next role in Studio Players' Elvis Has Left the Building, Darden plays a woman from the opposite side of the spectrum.  "In this role, I play Trudy, a German secretary to Elvis' manager. Complete opposites! This role is just plain fun! I am having a ball with this role. Trudy is loyal, competent, patient, and wacky. I love her."

Though she claims to not be a big Elvis fan, she too knows the power of the King. "You know, I think Elvis was one hell of an entertainer -- but I will admit, I never really caught the 'Elvis bug' ... definitely not an obsessed Elvis fanatic. But I appreciated his talents, most definitely," she says.
Allie Darden and Alex Maddox in The Graduate
I asked Allie to explain what has been challenging about this production, or is it all as easy as a key lime pie martini? "I went out for this role for one reason and one reason only: I wanted to have fun. When I read this play, I thought 'oh this could be loads of fun.' And after a year of doing darker roles, from iconic, to heartbreaking, I was craving something lighthearted, a bit goofy, and a lot of fun. And that's what's it's been.  We've worked really hard on this, and I've enjoyed the entire process. It's really been a wonderful experience!"

What's next for Allie, she seems delighted to admit, "I have no idea! I wasn't even planning to audition for Elvis Has Left the Building, but changed my mind last minute, and showed up to audition. I know that I'm not planning on doing anything theatre related until after the holidays. But after that, who knows? :)

As for an update on the movie Allie filmed last summer in Atlantic City, she says, "Checking In has been submitted to film festivals, but no word back on any progression yet.  [Playwright] Brian Hampton had an incredibly busy summer doing other projects, but he's requested that any inquiries about Checking In the movie, (or any of his other projects) be directed to his Twitter account (HamptonBHampton), or his website ( I have seen the rough cut of the movie, however, and I was extremely pleased with how it turned out! With a minimum budget, and 8 days to shoot, I thought it turned out wonderfully!! I can't wait to see the edited, polished up version.  As always, stay tuned."
Allie's Halloween parties are legendary!  

And that is what we shall do, stay tuned for more about Brian's work, which seems to have a bright future.  Hampton's hilarious The Jungle Fun Room has been receiving a lot of attention from theatre companies all around, and his world premiere of Checking In was of course here in Lexington, so area folks want to know what Mr. Hampton is up to, and I'll do my best to make sure he visits KimmyVille from time to time.  

Meanwhile, I am happy to be looking forward to my upcoming high school reunion, the opening of Allie's new play at the Carriage House (I know, I know, it's not her play, but that's the way I see it), and I am also loving every minute of my new job back at University of Kentucky's College of Medicine.  Today I played two different patient profiles and tomorrow I get to go back and do it again. I get to forget about the bus wreck this morning, I get to forget about who I've lost recently and those to whom I will never get to say goodbye or make peace.  I get to lose myself in my work, as an actor for science, for medicine, and pretend to be someone else for a little while.  Through that work I have come to know why actors act.  They like to call it play ... and play it is.  It's hard work, this thing called play, but the play is the thing that makes them tick, that keeps them sane, that rocks their boat.  It shivers me timbers, but I love it ... I love making pretend or watching folks play pretend -- and so do you, or you wouldn't be reading my babble all the way through. Thanks for that ... and go, see, do things that make you forget your woes. It's a lovely thing to lose yourself in such an endeavor.  
peace to all,


By Duke Ernsberger and Virginia Cate

Directed by Eric Seale

Tim X Davis
Allie Darden
Spencer McGuire
Chrisena Ricci
Cody Taylor

The Colonel is in a pickle. 

He's lost a bet and must schedule an event for his meal-ticket.
 Only problem is, no one can find Elvis. 
The Memphis Mafia knows where he is, but they ain't talking. 
What's a former Carny-turned-Rock n' Roll Manager supposed to do? 
I mean, it's not like anyone can sing and dance like Elvis...

September 13-16, 21-23, 28-30, 2012

Opening, Fridays, & Saturdays: 8pm
Sunday Matinees: 2:30pm

Reservations: 859.257.4929 /

$19 ($19.50 for online orders)

Students: $11

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